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Fur

Every year over one million animals are trapped in Canada for their fur. The fur trade was one of Canada’s earliest major industries, beginning when natives traded fur with early settlers and explorers for European goods. Many Canadian cities have their roots in the fur trade. Today, although the fur industry has declined in Canada, fur is still used to make and to line many garments.

In 1997 Canada signed the Agreement for International Humane Trapping Standards with Russia and the European, which banned jaw-type leghold traps and required that research be conducted for the development of humane killing and restraining traps. Although this is a step in the right direction, there are still many traps being used that cause severe suffering and stress to trapped animals.

The Fur Institute of Canada oversees and coordinates the implementation of the Agreement, but the provinces and territories are ultimately responsible for implementing and regulating trapping in their jurisdictions.

Quick Facts on fur trapping in Canada:

  • In 1979 five and a half million animals were trapped for their fur; that number has dropped to less than two million.
  • The fur industry is a $800 million industry in Canada.
  • Over 65 000 people are active in the fur industry in Canada, both part time and full time.
  • The United States is Canada’s biggest export market for fur products. The European Union, Russia, and Japan are also large export markets.
  • Many nontarget animals, including companion animals are caught in traps not meant for them and suffer severe injury, often for days until they die of starvation, dehydration, or predation, or are found.
  • Up to 30 raccooons, 100 squirrels, 15 lynx, 15 coyotes, or 20 foxes are required to make one fur coat.
  • The Agreeement for International Humane Trapping Standards does not include foxes in its requirements for humane standards.
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